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I remember my first motorcycle ride and it still makes me giddy. It is funny how certain memories don’t seem to fade but simply get bigger with time and perspective. My first ride is one of those things for me. I can’t picture the exact bike or tell you what model or brand it was but I remember the feeling of my heart racing, the warmth of the sun on my skin, the way I laughed every time we slowed at a traffic light and the way it felt like a super shot of adrenaline to my heart when she gunned the engine and we took off.
Brandy was always somewhat of a mystery to me, but her bike always felt just like home.
The first time she asked me if I wanted a ride I just laughed thinking she was joking. She was my neighbor and we had talked a few times but that was really all. I saw her bike many times. Who didn’t! It was big and loud and she owned the neighbor when she was driving through. Brandy always was smiling and her bike was her pride. Come ride with me to Sunset she said. I shook my head and said no I can’t. I had never been on a motorcycle and honestly I was scared. All I could think was people die on motorcycles. She could see right through me. Aww you are scared she teased. You are thinking of crashing before you even get on. No I am not, I insisted. But she was right and somewhere in the next minute or two Brandy had changed my mind.
She handed me a helmet and a leather jacket that fit her niece. She is your size she said. I think I held my breathe the whole time I was gearing up and wondered how I could get out of this ride. My heart was already racing. But it was going to get louder.
Brandy started up the bike and pulled me behind her. Whatever you do, hold tight and do not let go, she said. And then we were off.
I remember the incredibly loud noise of her bike engine and the smell of her leather coat pressed under my noise. My eyes were screwed shut so tight I saw stars. I could feel us moving. And we were moving fast. I was scared at first but then somewhere as we climbed Fairfax I got excited. And then somehow on Sunset I started to take a peek around and could feel myself smiling. I could feel myself relax and get in with the rhythm of the road. It was all the things you hear about …exciting, loud, heart stopping, exhilarating and all at once the best and most scary feelings all rolled together. But more then all that it was this sense of freedom. Like really I can do anything freedom! It got so strong it made me want to scream. I wanted to ride longer and faster and never stop. I was barely done with my first ride and already planning how to score another one.
The road had me and I was not about to let go.
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